Media @ McGill

Straw, Will


Professor, Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

Interest and Bio: 

Will Straw is Professor of Communications in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. He has been the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada since June 1, 2011. Dr. Straw was awarded the David Thomson Award for Graduate Supervision and Teaching from McGill University in 2006. He has been music correspondent for Prime Time (CBC Radio), popular culture correspondent for the Women's Television Network, and a cultural commentator for Newswatch (CBC Television, Montreal.) He comments regularly on media and cultural issues for a variety of media.

Dr. Straw has been Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts (Belgrade), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico City), the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil) and the Central European University (Budapest).

He is interested in a range of topics, most of them having to do with media and cities, and is currently director of a research project, funded by the Quebec FQRSC, on "Media and Urban Life in Montreal."


Crime, Visuality and Print Media; Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 50s America; Documentation and Conservation of Media Arts Heritage; Media and Urban Life in Montreal; Print Culture and Urban Visuality; Media and Urban Life in Montreal (FQRSC team grant), 2010-2014; The Urban Night as Interdisciplinary Object, 2012-2014


Recent publications by Will Straw include the following edited volumes:

Intersections of Media and Communications: Concepts and Critical Frameworks
. Co-edited by Will Straw, Sandra Gabriele and Ira Wagman. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. 2011. 

Aprehendiendo al delincuente:  Crimen y mediios en América del norte.  Co-edited by Graciela Martinez-Zalce, Will Straw and Susana Vargas. Mexico City: CISAN/UNAM and Media@McGill, 2011.

Bâtir/Build. Co-edited with James Cisneros. Special issue of Intermédialités, no. 14, 2010.

Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture. Co-edited with Alexandra Boutros. McGill-Queens University Press, 2010.

“Are We American?” Special dossier in Quebec Studies, vol. 33, no. 48 (Fall 2009-Winter 2010), co-edited with Erin Hurley. 

And these articles:

"Music and Material Culture."  In Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton, eds. The Cultural Study of Music:  A Critical Introduction. Second edition. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 227-236. 

"Sizing Up Record Collections: Gender and Connoisseurship in Rock Music Culture." In Mary Celeste Kearney, ed., The Gender and Media Reader . London and New York, Routledge, 2011. Reprint.

Nota roja and journaux jaunes: Popular crime periodicals in Quebec and Mexico.” In Graciela Martinez-Zalce, Will Straw and Susana Vargas, editors. Aprehendiendo al delincuente:  Crimen y medios en América del norte. Mexico City: CISAN/UNAM and Media@McGill, 2011, pp. 53-70.

“Preface.” In Viva Paci, La comédie musicale et la double vie du cinéma. Paris/Udine, Téraèdre/Forum, 2011, pp. 13-17.

“The consecration of musical incoherence” Kinephanos, vol. 2, no. 1 (April, 2011).

Introduction: The Small Parts, Small Players Dossier .”  Screen,  52 (2011), 78-81.

“Scales of Presence: Bess Flowers and the Hollywood Extra.”  Screen, 52 (2011), 121-127.

“Authorship.” Reprinted in Chris Rojek, ed., Popular Music: Sage Benchmarks in Culture and Society. Los Angeles and London: Sage, 2011, pp. 65-74.

“Systems of Articulation, Logics of Change: Communities and Scenes in Popular Music.” Reprinted in Chris Rojek, ed., Popular Music: Sage Benchmarks in Culture and Society. Los Angeles and London: Sage, 2011, pp. 219-249.

"Stratégies formelles de la photographie d'actualité criminelle/Formal Strategies in the True Crime Photograph." Etudes photographiques, no. 26 (2010). Traduction française ici

“Action Classics: alcune riflessioni sul corpus dei DVD a basso costo.” In Leonardo Quaresima andValentina Re, editors. Play the Movie:  Il DVD e le nuove forme dell'esperienza audioovisiva.  Torino: Edizioni Kaplan, 2010, pp. 66-77. 

“Cross-Border Visualities and the Canadian Image.” Imaginations, vol. 1, no. 1 (2010), pp. 24-38.

“Tabloid Expo.” In Rhona Richman Kenneally and Johanne Sloan , editors,  Expo '67:  Not Just a Souvenir. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010, pp. 221-238. 

Faculty page: 

Visit Professor Straw's faculty page here.

Personal website: 

Professor Straw's personal website.


Canadian culture and globalization; crime, visuality and print media; film studies; urban culture.